I’m so proud of everyone who participated in #MarchForOurLives, especially the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students who spearheaded the event. They’re passionate, articulate, and they believe in themselves. Even more amazing to me: they’re sixteen – seventeen years old. At sixteen, I was a mess. Everything seemed to turn to shit that year. I would never have been able to stand at a podium in front of thousands of people, baring my soul.
I also doubt my sixteen-year-old self would have been able to deal with criticism on the level these kids receive daily. Here’s what Steve King’s camp had to say about Emma Gonzalez. Congressmen and state officials turn into blubbering idiots in their attempts to insult and degrade these young people and their message. Not to mention random adults who should know better. Everyone with a Twitter account is a critic. More and more, their comments resemble the hate-filled rhetoric spewed by our own President. It’s disgusting.
My open letter to these students:
It’s not enough. Keep going. Keep speaking. Keep getting in their faces. It won’t be enough until we cast our votes and make change happen. Don’t back down. Don’t take “eventually” for an answer. Don’t be swayed or scared by the Second Amendment argument. Nobody’s taking guns away. If people are so afraid they’re going to lose their gun rights, maybe they’re crazy enough they shouldn’t have guns in the first place.
Most of all, though: Don’t lose who you are while fighting for who we should be as a nation. Be true to yourselves. Practice self-care. Take a step back when you must, and demand the public respects your boundaries. You deserve to have private lives when this is over.